Date: 2006 July 28 09:58
Posted by Joe
In another interesting article from the Mainichi Daily News reports that otaku culture in Akihabara is under threat. Traditionally every Sunday the main strip through Akihabara is closed to traffic, allowing pedestrians to rule the roads, bands to play in the street and ladies dressed in maid costumes to handout pamphlets for events otaku will be interested in.
But recently the police have been stopping bands' performances and prevented maids from handing out their leaflets causing many otaku to complain that they're being persecuted. On Sundays the street is frequently packed with cosplayers and fans taking photographs. The article reports that the cosplayers and photographers are "they're at least wary, if not afraid, of the cops".
Akihabara is seen as many as the centre of otaku culture, being famed for all it's high tech electrical gadgets sold, and is almost always filmed on tourist TV shows when they visit Tokyo.
The article states that the local police are following the law to the letter, pointing out that the rules say streets can't be used for anything else than walking over.
Otaku News hope this issue is addressed soon, as the bands, maids and other freaky attractions are a big part of otaku culuture and part of the charm of Akihabara.